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The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

Brian Williams became the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of NBC Nightly News on December 2, 2004. Read his full biography.

A word about our Katrina coverage

I wrote the following for broadcast tonight. We have omitted the names from the e-mails, and they are just a representative sample of what we receive every day:

A necessary word about our coverage of the storm zone— specifically, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the City of New Orleans. Lately, a lot of viewers have felt the need to tell us what they think of our coverage, and we like that and we read them all. And while most of the e-mails we get are from folks wanting to thank us for our coverage, an increasing number do not.

Here are just a few from the past few days:

A viewer in Houston writes, “I was very saddened by the damage caused by the hurricane and certainly support the re-building of New Orleans... but can’t we give this a rest?”

Another viewer writes: “I’m getting just plain sick and tired of hearing the constant drumbeat about New Orleans...”

Still another is even more direct: “ENOUGH. We’re sick and tired of 'the long road back.'"

Again, that’s the minority view, but enough people feel that way to prompt us to say the following:

Our Katrina coverage started before Katrina arrived on shore. We were in the Superdome for the storm, and then watched what happened in New Orleans during that awful week. We have gone back many times, including this past Monday, and we’ve gone to Mississippi. We’ve covered the struggle in Florida and along the Texas coast, as we cover any event that causes human suffering.

Katrina is different. Katrina displaced 2 million Americans. It destroyed 350,000 homes. Not all the bodies have yet been found.  It exposed cracks in our society, and it has us talking about race and class, and money and relief. It affected what we pay for gas, and may affect what we pay in taxes. It literally re-arranged the map of the Gulf Coast. There are many heroes, but no one villain.

Tonight, one of the great American cities is partially in ruins, and many of our fellow citizens are hurting and have nothing left. In some places, nothing’s been done yet.

And so, while we are reading the mail, we also have a job to do. And a big story to cover. Along with the news around the nation and the world each day, we intend to keep covering it.

Read more from Brian Williams 2006, NBC's Gulf Coast recovery files

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Could you please explain to me why the womens breast cancer report with MRI examination was prioritized above many more internationally important issues WITH NO DISCLAIMER that your owner G.E. is the major manufacturer for this machine, And in addition your spokesperson is contracted to A & M records a label owned by Universal records, rather shameful promotion of vested interests ?????

I have not heard one word that the City of New Orleans will repair the streets. Prior to Katrina and throughout New Orleans History the streets have been deteriorating. If we rebuild what good will it do to put sewerage and water pipes down in streets that have flooded and are broken. This is important. If they do not raise the streets then there will be the same drainage problems that always existed. And one more thing people are gutting and rebuilding therefore there must not be a code of enforcement to raise homes prior to rebuilding. I wonder what all the money will be used for that the Federal Level has given? You should mention this on television ..because no one has mentioned street one....

Mr. Williams,
Thank you for your coverage of Hurricane Katrina which keeps fellow American abreasted of the progress there and know that help is still needed. I listened to your coverage of the children that are alone in some cities in Louisiana to go to school and their parents are in other states working or looking for work. I didn't quite grasp what you were saying and was left with questions like how are they surviving without their parents? How are they supporting themselves? Where is the support coming from? etc, etc,. Will you please elaborate further on this very important subject?

I lost EVERYTHING in Pearlington because of Katrina, but I am going to keep on keeping on! Again, Mr. Williams, I, like the St. Benard Parish residents, are sick of anchors only covering New Orleans. NEW ORLEANS WAS NOT THE ONLY CITY HIT HARD BY KATRINA!!!!!!!! Hancock County, MS was hit hard...little towns like Pearlington, Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Diamondhead, and Lakeshore were completely devastated as well. Why can't there be more coverage of the clean-up and rebuilding efforts in Mississippi? There have been volunteers selflessly taking their vacations to go there to Pearlington just to help the community rebuild. Why must we continue to focus on the "pity parties" and shortcomings of New Orleans? I would like to see Louisiana take some advice from Mississippi--work together, not against each other--to get the city rebuilt. I suppose the reason there is very little coverage on Hancock County Mississippi is because there are neighbors helping neighbors (just like Chalmette), and the anchors are just not interested in showing positive results, only negativity. My advice to New Orleans...stop griping about how badly they were treated, and help each other out! Give the media something positive to broadcast for crying out loud! I know it was and still is bad in New Orleans, but a little more positive coverage would be nice to hear once in a while...a little more coverage of the small Mississippi Coastal towns/cities in Hancock County would be nice, too! I may have lost everything I owned in Pearlington, MS, but I have not lost hope!

On Tuesday, Aug. 29, the Los Angeles Times carried a story "After the storm: Katrina left Brian Williams shaken but defined his role as anchor." by Matea Gold. Two statements stood out in that article: the first, "Williams...said watching the sluggish response to the disaster firsthand 'has shaken my confidence in my government. It's because of what I've witnessed in places like Iraq, where a colonel can pick up a telephone and have water and food delivered by Black Hawk or Chinook dual-rotor helicopter in minutes to a place the size of a dime in the middle of the desert,' he said. 'That's what kept getting me in this. No one had any information.'"
The second is the quote from a viewer who said, "'I am tired as hell of hearing about New Orleans every time I near the NBC News,' read one typical message from a Georgia man posted in June. 'Get on with life.'" What viewers like this man in Georgia don't seem to "get" is, as Katie Couric has observed, "why it (an event) matters, and what it means to viewers": the government failed in New Orleans. And that same government is so inept and corrupt that, a year later, it probably would fail responding adequately to a natural OR MANMADE disaster that affected that viewer in Georgia, and citizens everywhere else. Yes, the hurricane itself is important, of course, and so is New Orleans, but it is the larger picture that is even more important: we cannot depend on our government in a crisis. And when you consider that many government employees, including the President of the United States, take oaths of office that include promising "to defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," that's a very scary realization. And that's why New Orleans really matters.

Mr. Williams,
I am from St.Bernard parish and appreciate the on going Katrina coverage and completely understand how important it is to continue that coverage; however, New Orleans is NOT THE ONLY area affected by Hurricane Katrina. I lost my home, along with "EVEWRYTHING" in my home, to include my car, my daughter's car; my entire family was affected, my Mother lost her home and car, my older sister lost her home, my younger sister lost her home, my aunt lost her home, my nephew lost his home, along with all of our friends and extended family members, and all of the other 67,000 residence of St.Bernard parish (Arabi, Chalmette, Meraux, Violet). We have spent the last 12 months re-building our lives. We are all now located in different city and states. It is still a struggle each every day. Our entire community was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and as much has I like to see the New Orleans coverage, I still wonder, why nobody tells the story of the other areas affected by this horrible storm. We too had roof top flooding with 90% of the parish completely under water. People stuck on roof tops with no food or water for many days, and NO outside search and rescue help, NO helicopters flying overhead, NO FEMA, NO Superdome, NO LOOTING, and NO Shooting, it was just neighbors helping neighbors. It still looks like 500 bombs exploded in the middle of St.Bernard. Why are we forgotten?
A viewer from St.Bernard parish

Dear Brian,

Your piece that aired last night 8/28/06, Katrina: The Long Road Back, was absolutely brilliant. I recall your disclaimer at the beginning of the segment about “raw” pictures, but they really made your story compelling. Those 27 minutes of commercial-free footage made me feel incredible contempt for the government, and at the same time, complete and utter sadness for the innocent people who were left to suffer. At the end of the segment, I was in tears and I now realize that the city I love so much, New Orleans, will never be the same again.

Although I’m a New Yorker and wish there were never a 9/11, my feelings about that situation pale in comparison to what I feel about the aftermath of Katrina. It all boils down to leadership at its worst and proves that we are still living in a segregated society.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

The coverage was very good and it was great to see coverage that reflects the loss of Katrina, in response to the people who say "enough" there can never be "enough" until these people are able to rebuild and get on with their lives. Of course it is easy for some to say "enough" when events like this do not affect them in any way and although i have a home, utilities and live nowhere near New Orleans I am still contributing to the Katrina funds 1 year later perhaps if more people did that then "enough" would be accomplished.

Thank you Brian Williams for your coverage on Hurricane Katrina. The people of New Orleans lost more than anyone can imagine.Not only were their homes lost,but their lives,pride and dignity were shattered. We as people of a liberal nation should stand back and look at ourselves and realize that people are human being no matter what financial class or race they are...and the needs of the people should be equal when tragic events happen.Thank you for being there among the Hurricane Victims.. for holding hands and providing hope when there was so much despair.Its take a huge amount of courage and a heart that is filled with gold to reach out to all the people that were affected by Hurricane Katrina and I feel that you filled that shoe very well.
I am truly thankful to you for your role in providing help for the victims in Hurricane Katrina and providing the News coverage to the people of this Nation..You are an outstanding News Reporter and I know sometimes your News coverage duties are very heartbreaking especially during tragic events such as this. Keep up the excellent work and thank you so much.
Brenda Wiggins

Dear Brian and the NBC team...

I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your broadcast last night, and for including the Sundance interview. Your candor was heartbreaking, but also groundbreaking.

Certain phrases will stick with me forever, ie: "wild eyes" and "I know I have six pairs of shoes, my whole family is in the hotel."

I had no idea that during those five awful days trapped in the superdome, the chinooks and blackhawks were actually flying over. Where were the airdrops???

Thank you Brian for bringing us this coverage.
And to you people who have "had it" with the continuing story, THEY ARE STILL FINDING PEOPLE. Doesn't that shake your very soul?
This is America!
I have had it. New Orleans has had it.

Thank you Kanye.

God Bless New Orleans.
God Bless America.

I saw Brian's special tonight (8-28-06) and I was very impressed! I have been one of those terrible people that gets tired of seeing soooo many stories on New Orleans. Tonight's show helped me see why I'm frustrated. It is what I don't see! I don't see organized N.O work teams cleaning various neighborhoods each week. I don't see Mr Nagin organizing anything but pity parties, a blaming competitions!! I've seen stories about students taking Spring break to clean up your city. I've seen stories on MANY people nationwide spending THEIR vacation to clean up your city. LA seems to have a State government drawing lucrative salaries and no one is a LEADER. These are the stories we'd like to see!!

I certainly like the "new" format of the Nightly News you are trying out. I watched and was particularly impressed by your using "Goggle Earth" to take us on the map to the places you were highlighting (eg. the floods in the Northeast.) I liked the split-screen approach you used during the dialogue with one of your field reporters. I have been watching the NBC news since I was a little girl in Montana, and became a fan then with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. Keep up the good work!

thank you for this soapbox sir... you and your co workers should hold your heads high for your coverage of the gulf coast disaster ...your reports remind us that the nightmare continues for our sickens me to hear the whine of apathy from alot of fellow americans..until recently i owned a hot dog stand in concord n.c.there, you could'nt avoid the gen publics opinion...the majority was negative toward rebuilding and continual support for all the victims,they're just tired of hearing about it..sad..and if i may one last thought.. every time i see the footage of folks @ the superdome & convention center..i remember how quickly state & fed. gov't reacted to hurricanes dennis & floyd arond '96, 97 in eastern nc, there is footage of food being thrown to livestock to save them...i am ashamed for americas short attention span...thanks for a job well done...& keep showing them how it all really is..please.

I feel your coverage has been extcellent. What people don't seem to want to accept is that these are our brothers and sisters They are our flesh and our blood. We are all human and I think some people who are offended by these reports have lost their humanity. Bless you for showing us the truth. We need to know the truth and how our people are being treated. I say never forget Katrina!


My wife and I were listening to your broadcast Thursday evening, April 27, 2006. We're amazed that people were tired of hearing about the conditions that exist in New Orleans and surrounding areas. As you report stated, "... they are still finding dead bodies..." this sounds like an on going situation. Some people who lived there will never again move back due to a variety of circumstances. Many of the conditions are beyond a person's ability to take control of.

As for bad weather, the northern central and mountain time zones have their share. I lived through many a winter in that area, but was never evicted from my home for an indeterminent amount of time, eight months and counting.

Please continue to give us the reports about how some of the work in Katrina's destruction zone. It is still encouraging to hear about how the determination of some have made a difference in the face of unequaled odds.

Bryan, please correct the widespread misuse in broadcast news of the word "pandemic". "Pandemic" is not a noun; it is an ADJECTIVE, used to describe a disease that is prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world. The correct expression is a "pandemic disease", not "a pandemic".

I used to live in Chalmette, LA. My home was completely destroyed by this storm, as well as the rest of St. Bernard Parish. This goes out to ALL who have commented saying your "Tired of hearing about Katrina". I say this too you, If your tired of hearing about it, then turn off your TV. ANd, if you don't have a common frame of reference and have NO CLUE what we are going through, meaning ALL who have been affected by the strom, shut your F******g mouth and go back to your "everday" life. In other words, since you don't know what your talking about, we'd like you too shutup. Have a nice day!

Thank you for continuing to cover Katrina and its aftermath. I am saddened by those who object to this coverage; it seems to me that they either do not understand or no longer care about the people devastated by this tragedy. New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast, contrary to some views, are not back to "business as usual." The people there are still suffering in untold ways, and our nation needs to fully understand how the only entity with the resources to handle this situation, our federal government, betrayed its own people.

I admire and respect you Mr. Williams; you are a committed and impartial professional and it saddens me to hear about the death of your sister. I along with my family offer my heart felt condolence to you and your family. I know what it is like to lose a sibling, my oldest brother passed away from lung cancer in May 1999, and I still miss him, but my memories of him are all fond memories and as I am sure you and your family have many fund memories of the love one you all has lost. I will lift you and your family up in my prayer and I ask God to continue to bless all of you and keep you all a close family.

It was terrible, but why do you never blame the Mayors, The Governors and other local and state people who were suppose to be in charge?

Also, why do you never point out that all homes and businesses with mortgages had regular insurance as well as flood coverage. Just continue to blame President Bush.

I really am sick of all the New Orleans coverage because New Orleans was not the only city affected by Hurricane Katrina. Where's the coverage of small Gulf Coast areas like Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Lakeshore, Pearlington, Diamondhead (places that took a direct hit in Hancock County, MS)? You know, Hancock County took a DIRECT hit from Katrina. How dare you leave out these small Gulf Coast towns?

I think the Katrina coverage is important. I would like to see more about what the people are doing for themselves. Have they contacted authorities in their state to let them know where they are? Are they trying to get jobs or move ahead where they are? There were many errors but coverage of the people is also important from the standpoint of what are they doing to help themselves. State responsibility has to be covered more.

Forgive my lateness in coming to Brian Williams' outstanding comments about why he continues to report on the subject of Katrina and the total failure of the government to do anything about it.

I am sickened by those who object to his coverage, and would suggest that those who do are the kinds of people (too many of them, by the way) whose only idea of "news" is Michael Jackson, Brad and Angela and Natalie Holloway 24/7.

Keep it up. This tragedy needs to be addressed, and someone has to be America's conscience.

Thank you, Mr. Williams, for your response to the negative mail on reporting the aftermath of Katrina. Thanks also to NBC for its continued Katrina coverage despite the complaints. I'm still interested in what is happening (or NOT happening) in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast. I drive through New Orleans in November and it was a ghost town. It's very shocking when you realize that the population of a vibrant city once lived there. I was hoping that news cameras would make it out to New Orleans East to show the (abandoned) shopping center parking lots filled with thousands of abnadoned cars covered in floodwater slime. That was a very telling picture.

I believe that it's your job to report on the continued suffering and displacement of our fellow citizens, as well as politicians' failures, so that the public can make more informed decisions about who we elect. Complaints discouraging continued Katrina reporting are appalling, especially when you consider that recovery aid by the federal government has been inadequate, and funding has recently been cut.

Please don't let America fall asleep on this issue! What happened to New Orleans affects all of us, whether we (Americans) want to realize it or not. It's also a symptom of greater problems in our society.

To abandon Katrina coverage is essentially to abandon Americans. Thank you for standing up to ignorant complaints!

Keep up the good work NBC and Mr. Williams!

Enough already? This is the Gulf Coast of the USA and one of the most vibrant cities in the world five months later in the year 2006! Why isn't Bechtel cleaning up as they did at the World Trade Center? The man made aftermath caused by the levees, floodwalls and wetlands is a national disgrace of enormous proportion. We simply cannot let this slide out of view. Never ever forget. The whole nation bears responsibility to the city of New Orleans. It is a national treasure. Why do so many people from all over the planet visit? It's not just the magnolia trees. It's the spirit of place created throught the centuries by the soul of the people. Most of these people are now either dead or dying to come home to their beloved Crescent City. Long live New Orleans!

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